Open Critique Day #20

It's time once again for another Open Critique Day!

If you have a HeroMachine illustration or another piece of artwork you've done that you'd like some help with, post a link to it in comments along with your thoughts on it -- what you think is working, what you're struggling with, etc. I will post my critique of the piece, hopefully giving some tips on how to improve it.

Of course everyone is welcome to post their critiques as well, keeping in mind the following rules:

  • Make sure your criticism is constructive. Just saying "This sucks" is both rude and unhelpful without giving specific reasons why you think it sucks and, ideally, some advice on how to make it better.
  • Each person should only post one illustration for critique to make sure everyone who wants feedback has a chance.
  • I will not critique characters entered in any currently running contest, as that doesn't seem fair to the other entrants. You can still post it if you like for the other visitors to critique, but I will not do so.

That's it! Hopefully we can get some good interaction going here and help everyone (me included!) learn a little bit today.

151 Responses to Open Critique Day #20

  1. Fabien says:

    I’ve made an heroine with a costume based on peacock feathers.
    After few deceptive attempt, i’ve an acceptable result for the concept.

  2. Malfar says:

    Again, I don’t remember if I posted it somewhere else. This is two mutant brothers – Doomsday Weapons

  3. Rozestal says:
    The mercenary, like Deadpool.
    Pose took at a forum, but has a little changed.

  4. Pesky says:

    Seems many people like Celeste. How can the illustration be improved?

  5. Anarchangel says:

    This is a complete overhaul of a character I used in an rp a long time ago.

    I always liked the character but this was the first time I ever created an image for him that I kind of liked. I still feel as though it can be improved in some way so comments welcome.

  6. ams says:

    @Fabien – When I read “peacock” for your character, I thought over the top flaring details. When I opened your pic, I didn’t see that. Don’t get me wrong, you nailed the colors and the items you chose are good, but don’t be afraid to exagerate those details. Don’t settle for ” I think it fits”, take it to the extreme limit and then when you think it’s too much then cut back. The mask, tail feathers and her weapons, in my opinion, should be much larger. Hope this helps. Cheers!

  7. Doornik1142 says:

    Hexen Hammer, hunter of witches:

    The main problem I’m having with this piece is the background. I just…can’t get any of them looking right. I can’t put my finger on why, it just doesn’t look right. Also the mouth looks weird, but none of the other mouths looked any better. Any other tips/advice would also be useful.

  8. Lime says:

    I’m happy with this family overall, but what keeps bugging me is the baby. (Well, toddler. He’s supposed to be around 1 1/2 or 2.) I used the child head as a template, but overlaid other features to personalize him (and to make him more resemble his relatives). Even though I re-sized the overlaid features to match the size of the features on the original head, they still seem wrong. And the hand seems huge, even though I know baby hands are much larger in proportion to their bodies than adults’. If I make the hand smaller, it looks wrong, too. Any ideas? (Comments on the rest of the family are welcome too. I know the youngest daughter looks a little weird, but she also looks a little weird as an adult.)

  9. Vampyrist says:

    Here is a demonic supervillain I’ve been working on named Hellstrike. I personally thought he turned out well, but something is still bugging me. Perhaps you or another member here could help out.

  10. Me, Myself & I says:

    This is a long term character I’ve played for a while. Overall, I’m pretty happy with the character but there is always room for improvement. If anyone notices anything that can add to it I would be happy to consider the feedback.

    There are a few elements that are important to the character that I wanted to include which are;
    – knotwork patterns are a big part of his culture,
    – most of the men wear kilts (for the warm season’s a least)
    – his holy symbol (the crossed axes on a chain about his neck),
    – there is an entire story about how he aquired his adamantine axe so I wanted to include it (for those interested I will include a link to the story as well),
    – his family all have deep thick red hair (not carrot top red),


    Mini Story (The last paragraph is the most telling of who the character really is)

  11. Tarkabarka says:

    The picture is my contestant in the gemini contest, but one of my fav. I want to ask it, if you see any problem please tell me.

    Lady of the lake, and her brother.

  12. Panner says:

    Fabien (1): That’s certainly an interesting concept fort a costume, and I think the result looks very eye catching and memorable.

    However, it doesn’t immediately make me think of peacock feathers. Sure, with answer in hand I can definitely see it, but I don’t think it’s apparent from the visual alone.

    I can’t say how hard it would be to create convincing peacock feathers with heromachine, but I can imagine it will take a bit of work. Something to do for a rainy day, eh?


    Malfar (2): The obvious problem is of course that they can’t hold the weapons. Some workarounds I can think of off the top of my head are to add weapons straps so that they hang from the shoulders, putting the weapons on their backs (might be boring) or to redraw the arms using body parts.

    Another idea I got was to maybe add dog tags. They reinforce the soldier look and add a little more detail. Not that the image really needs it, it looks good the way it is right now, it was just an idea!


    Tool (3): Looks really good, I like the energy effects and the creative kneecaps. If it were up to me though, I’d prbably give the visor a solid color. Right now it looks like I’m seeing the background through it. Also, have you tried making the neckguard blue? That might create better contrast between shoulderpads, neckguard and mask.

    All in all very nice picture, and the background fits well!

  13. Vampyrist says:

    @Lime wow that is fantastic. I personally see nothing wrong with either of the two children you mentioned and I though that toddler was inspired, however I never really had an eye for critique, so I may be wrong. My only tweak would be two raise the father’s right sleeve a couple of levels as right now it is under the chest and to place a scaled head, colored to the shirt underneath the sleeve. This would just look more realistic and it is a relatively simple thing to accomplish.

  14. Worf says:

    @Malfar(2): The “floating rifles really take away from the picture for me. I”d suggest something with masking like this:

    Otherwise nice job.

  15. Doornik1142 says:

    TOOL (3)

    I like the concept, the creative use of pieces (like the staff pieces used for kneepads, that was clever), and the coloring. But the pose is a little odd. If you’ll pardon my language, it looks like he’s about to take a dump. I would either reposition both legs straight down or figure out how to make a foreshortened thigh piece. I’ve managed to make foreshortened arms by using head pieces, but I don’t know if that would work with a character’s thighs.

    I also notice the black and gold panels along the sides of the stomach are cutting into the red spandex covering the chest. You should probably shrink those gold parts down veeeeerrry slightly so they don’t bump into each other.

  16. Anarchangel says:

    @Pesky (5) Let me just say that that is a stunning character. The only thing that looks slightly strange is the shading on the insides of her legs.

  17. Doornik1142 says:

    Lime (8)

    I like the wooden toy sword for the eldest daughter. That was a cute touch.

    For the youngest boy I would suggest using a female head instead of a male head. Children look a little more androgynous at that age and boys don’t get that manly square jaw until puberty.

  18. Doornik1142 says:

    Pesky (4)

    The eyes are off-center. You need to either raise/lower one eye or rotate them so they line up with each other. Aside from that it looks excellent.

  19. Worf says:

    I’d like to ask for help with this picture:

    I keep looking at it and thinking that something’s off, but can’t quite put my finger on it. Any help would be appreciated..

  20. ams says:

    @ lime (8) – Great pic! I think the proportions on the baby brother are good. The only thing I’ll throw at you is to add some cuffs on the sleeves of the daughters and mother, and fix the father’s wonky right eye! Creeps me out cause is he looking at me or you?

  21. Malfar says:

    Panner (11), Worf (13), thanks, it’s really helpful. Floating rifles really look stupid. Thanks again.

  22. Tarkabarka says:

    Lime (8)

    I like the little child pose.
    Only thing what i think problem is the little girl face is so similar – I can’t see any personality.
    But the girl (who hold the little boy), face’s awesome.

    Good good job.

  23. Tarkabarka says:

    Vampyrist (9)

    I don’t see any problem only a little bit simple the picture.
    But i like the energy effect of the hand. Good job.

  24. ams says:

    Here is my pic for critiquing. I like the central figure so any suggestions on the backgroud? I use the smoke items alot in my pics and trying to get away from it.


  25. Me, Myself & I says:

    Lime (8) this is without a doubt my favorite image of yours. I think it looks great. I’m not sure what to make of the woman’s hair though. It looks like she has two different colors of hair. While this isn’t overly unusual in and of itself, the transition from one color to another is very stark. It almost looks like she has a hat but then again it also looks like hair. I like everything else a lot.

  26. Tarkabarka says:

    Ams (23)

    I love the background very avesome. – The character also very good, i love the glow effect.
    I think the smoke is little bit too more for the picture.

    But especially i really like the picture.

  27. Jeff Hebert says:

    Fabien (1): I think this is a good start, but I would suggest a) a darker blue tone for the background feathers so you can separate them from the body and b) more and brighter feathers. When I think of a peacock, I think of the huge fanned tail of the male. The tail here is pointed down and is small relative to the body, the opposite of how you usually would see an actual bird.

    The face mask also gets a bit lost in the hair and head … I think making that a fair bit larger would help. Also, I think having the green concentrated in the body works against you. The bird has a pure blue front, which really pops because of the greens in the tail. But here, the greens and blues are all intertwined on the body and the figure gets a bit lost.

    Finally, I don’t know that the spiral sun is the right symbol to have in the suit. The peacock “eyes” on the feathers look more love concentric ovals.

  28. Jeff Hebert says:

    Malfar (2): Cute! Well, I don’t know for sure that “cute” is the right name for Rambo tigers sporting automatic weapons, but you get the idea.

    I like the general concept and the headbands on the tigers, but I feel like the room is dominating the composition. The figures take up just a tad more than half the vertical space, with the rest given over to the much larger ceiling and light. I think it would be better to, essentially, zoom in on the figures so you can see them better and they are the dominating force in the illustration.

    The second major issue I have is that they don’t look like they’re holding those guns at all. I realize that’s a very difficult thing to do since the bodies aren’t separated from the arms, but it just doesn’t make sense as is. And since that’s the most important thing — you’re selling the idea of gun-wielding tigers — they have to look like they’re actually wielding the guns. Maybe you could use some of the furry gloves with the paw hands beneath them, both layered on top of the guns?

  29. Fabien says:

    Eh, Jeff. I’ve tried to make peacock pattern with circles. The result is really ugly :

  30. Jeff Hebert says:

    Tool (3): I like the dynamism and energy (no pun intended) the image has. He looks like he’s popping with power!

    I’m not a huge fan of that pose, which I usually call the “Power Dump” when I seei it on American Idol. I also feel like the background/energy aura should be more concentrated around the figure. Currently it covers the whole area of the background, making it look almost more like a wallpaper than something he’s giving off.

  31. Panner says:

    Pesky (4): Aye, that’s a great illustration. And to be frank, I’ve actually done some work on it myself! So let’s see here…

    First off you should probably mask the face paint to something, if you look closely there are red lines spilling out into her hair. I also think that the fur on her arm stands out a little too much. The rest of her clothes (I use the term lightly) are in the middle of the figure and work fine, but that one just steals a lot of focus. I set its line color to ‘Dark cool brown’ and made color2 brighter, that helped quite a bit.

    Another thing that looks a bit off is the shadow on the right side of her body. It ends very abruptly and doesn’t really follow the body form.

    Personally I changed the color of her staff from orange to gold, to differentiate it from her hair, and I removed the blue in her hair (just made it transparent). But that’s personal preference, so go figure.

    That turned into quite a lot of words, but I guess I had a lot to say. It’s just such a good picture.


    Anarchangel (5): Ah, this is a fine piece of art. I like it a lot, and I have a hard time finding things to point out. But there is one little detail…

    He’s wearing two copies of the Union Jack, so clearly he likes the UK a lot, yet the rest of his outfit is on a different level. I’d expect the outfit to boldly display the red white and blue, and for blue and white that is true, but all we see of red is a tiny border on his legs. Do you see where I’m going? I’m not sure if this is a neutral costume that happens to have patriotic colors or a very discreetly patriotic costume.

    Maybe it’s just me, and feel free to ignore all my mad ramblings, but if it were me I’d either add more red or remove all red.


    Doornik1142 (7): Overall very nice character, I like it a lot. The color scheme is great and the details like the stake and cross really nail the point home (pun very much intended).

    You say you don’t like the background, I think the problem is with perspective. The way everything stands right now, the man is as tall as the trees. The first thing I’d try is to put a stone wall behind him, as high as his waist or something. The ground in front of the wall can be plain brown dirt. Then raise the tree background up a bit, or maybe give it larger Y-scale, and change from green to some dark grey or brown color. The result will be him standing in front of a stone wall (maybe the wall of a spooky cemetery) with creepy looking trees behind it.

    Well, I won’t guarantee any success, that’s just my first thought.

  32. ajw says: I know the logo is horrible, but could you give me your opinion on my handmade gi joe batman? He’s supposed to look old timey.

  33. Jeff Hebert says:

    Fabien (30): Yeah, that’s ugly ๐Ÿ™‚

    Check out this photo of a peacock feather. You’ve basically got a teardrop yellow shape, filled with a greenish oval, which in turn is filled with a black oval. It’s a three-part shape with a tear-shaped profile. I’m not saying you have to do something exactly like that, but neither the sun spiral nor the circles of the last one are evoking anything “peacock”, for me at least.

  34. Jeff Hebert says:

    Rozestal (4): Cool! I like it when I open an image and immediately have a “wow” reaction, and I definitely did on this one. You did a good job translating the pose into a character (thanks, SeanDavidRoss!). I like the red lightning on the body, although I probably would like it more if the part on the face didn’t match up to where it connects to the body — setting it off just a bit would help it look more three dimensional, I think.

    I like the dark coloring of the background as well, it sets the mood without detracting from the main focus on the character.

    Good job!

  35. Anarchangel says:

    Panner (32) I see exactly where you’re coming from and, while I actually agree with you, I’ve tried adding some red to his previous outfits (and this one) and could just never find a way to implement it without it looking stupid. So in the end I just figured less is more. Though if you have any suggestions on where I could place said colour then I’d be more than happy to give it a shot.

    And I actually hate the union jack on his belt. I tried various different things there but nothing looked right. At the time the flag seemed a better choice than anything else but now I want to change it.

  36. Jeff Hebert says:

    Pesky (5): I can see why people love her! Fantastic image and design, really well done.

    I agree with Panner’s observations, and would only add that the drop shadow at the bottom would probably look better if you used the two-tone gradient with white (to match the background) at the outside and black on the inside. That would give it fuzzy edges that would make it look more like a shadow and less like a disc.

    You’ve done a great job with this though, it’s really an outstanding image.

  37. Jeff Hebert says:

    Anarchangel (6): Nice! It’s a good, clean design, evoking a powerful but believable presence. I like the clothing and color options, particularly in the boots and gloves. Both might be a smidgeon on the large side, but are probably ok as is.

    I like that badge he has, too, that looks cool.

    The cowl and glowing eyes are neat.

    I am not as big a fan of the glow or light gradient behind him, maybe just because it’s on that medium gray. It ends up looking less like a light and more like a disc. Maybe if you were to add a much larger circle gradient on the background with black at the outside, and transparent on the inside, so it looked like you were going from black to gray to the white light?

    I also am not sure why there’s a “Hero” label underneath him, but I assume it has something to do with the requirements of your RPG. It would be a stronger image without it, but if it has to be there, so be it.

    I’m going to disagree with Panner on the red. I like the simplicity of the blue and white, and think the spot red on the badge and pants piping is plenty. Doing more puts you into “Captain Britain” territory, and while his costume is awesome, it’s been done. I like this more street-level kind of look fine as-is. Yeah, the belt buckle may be too much, but I think that can be adjusted without messing with the color balance of the rest of the costume.

    Good job!

  38. Jeff Hebert says:

    Jiminy Christmas, I’m behind. :-/

  39. Trekkie says:

    A science-fiction character of mine that I thought up a couple of years ago called Krei (pronounced ‘cray). Those dark-coloured lines on his face are meant to be ridges, but I’m not sure if that really comes across clearly.

  40. Trekkie says:

    Also, I don’t think the pouch I used for the messenger bag really looks bag-like enough.

  41. Panner says:

    Rozestal (4): Really cool! That greyscale background works well, and the lightning on his body is very eye catching.

    I’m not sure about his eyes though. It looks like they’re too big for his head. I’d try scaling them down a bit and moving them just a tiny bit closer to the nose.

    Oh, also, there’s a bit of white in his armpit. A head, I imagine!


    Lime (9): Now I’m not a master of anatomy, but I think that baby looks just right. Well, if I were to guess his age, I’d guess closer to 3 years, but no big deal.

    I’m more concerned with the hand holding the baby. That is, the ‘yellow’ daughter’s right arm. It looks a bit off, and probably because of how that sleeve is meant to be used. Maybe it would look more natural if it was a little thinner. If not, you could try using another upper arm sleeve, and maybe mask something together from different parts.


    Vampyrist (10): I really like him, so I’m afraid I don’t see what is bugging you! The purple fire works great, and his head is very well done. The legs look a little plain though, when compared to his arms which have wrinkles and scales and all kinds of stuff. Maybe you could add some of those goodies on? I’m also not sure about the aggressive line color on his feet, but that might be necessary.

    I’m a bit curious about his clothing though. A devil wearing clothes? Anyway, I’d try changing the clothes color from purple to, say, grey. That’d probably make the fire stand out much more.

  42. Doornik1142 says:

    Trekkie (40)

    There are other pouches in the belt folder that would work as messenger bags if you blew them up a bit. The face ridges are well done. I immediately knew what they were as soon as I noticed them.

    He needs a phaser to complete the image. ๐Ÿ˜€

  43. Jeff Hebert says:

    Doornik1142 (8): I like the character design quite a bit. You get a good fantasy feel going, with a restrained yet effective color palette. The ginormous hammer is neat, although I do have to wonder how in the heck he’s going to use it to pound that tiny stake in with that loooooong handle …

    So, I think you’ve got a very good character design, but unfortunately a not so strong background. The loose, cartoony style of the trees and clouds are at odds with the more detailed and realistic design of the figure. I’d either completely redo it, maybe with one of the rocky “Hellish” backgrounds posted by logosgal.

    I like the character a lot, I just want to see him supported by an environment that’s up to the standard he sets.

  44. Jadebrain says:

    Here’s Otigeon the Blessed-Eye, a childhood friend of my current DnD character, Hector Rodriguez.

    A young Dwarf who was blessed by a wandering priest of Ioun (goddess of Knowledge) at birth, Otigeon sees normally out of his left eye, yet sees the personalities of people he sees with his right. He has to close either eye when not in use, for if both eyes are open at the same time, his senses become overwhelmed and he experiences a great deal of pain (he wears the eyepatch for this purpose). Otigeon first became friends with Hector when he was seven (Hector was about five at the time), when he saw that Hector was a good person, despite all of the pain that Hector had gone through and even the infernal corruption in Hector’s blood. Otigeon is known throughout Hammerfast for choosing an ascetic lifestyle and is often sought by businessmen, lawmen, and various others to help them determine whether or not a person is to be trusted. Otigeon is also one of the few people in Hammerfast who places reverence in Ioun more than his racial patron deity. He looks rather thin for a Dwarf, and also shuns the stereotypical Dwarven behaviors of alcoholism and love of precious metals. Otigeon has grown up to be an Invoker of Ioun, though he has little combat experience.

  45. Captain Kicktar says:
    The top part of the pants is the main problem, due to the complete outline it has.

  46. Rozestal says:

    Jeff (35), Panner (42):This “red lightings” – scars!

  47. Jeff Hebert says:

    Lime (9): First, a side note — I tried to send you an email request a couple of weeks ago about something related to the HM Blog, did that ever get to you?

    OK, on to the characters! Strangely, I couldn’t get the site to load in Chrome, I had to switch to Safari. Weird.

    Let me just start by saying I love your ability to set a scene in your illustrations. This really looks like a family portrait and I get a sense that these people each have their own identities. For instance, having the one older girl holding the wooden sword is a great touch, suggesting all sorts of cool story angles.

    It’s hard to put a group together and not have the colors clash, but you’ve pulled it off nicely here. They all complement each other while still standing out.

    I think the proportions on the toddler are fine, personally. For me, the problem might be more in the features themselves, particularly the eyebrows, which seem a little big and bold for a younger child. Kids tend to have kind of lighter, feathery eyebrows, no? Similarly the lips fee a little big and bold for a kid. Maybe one of the more pouty sets of lips? Or even just changing the line color to something a little lighter.

    Hope that helps. I agree it’s a tough task.

  48. Panner says:

    MMI (11): Oh, for the love of all things chocolaty. You went nuts with the celtic knots here. You’re darn right to be happy with it, but there are a few tiny things I’d like to point out.

    That gradient highlight on the shield works great. The one on the breastplate, not so much. White is, unfortunately, white and having highlight only on the green knots looks a bit weird. I can’t help you with any tricks here, I’m in the same boat with one of my own characters.

    Personally I’d change color on the belt and necklace. That way white is reserved for steel, which I guess counts for something.

    I hope something was useful!

    Oh, also, the ring is neat!


    Tarkabarka (12): Wow, that sure is colorful! The pose is well done, and the swing is awesome, built from scratch like that.

    The problems with the figure are in the chest area. When the body’s turned that much, no bustier or similar will work. I suggest you jump right on the insignias, painful as it is, and start constructing a new chest. That’s the only thing that will make the picture justice.

    And one more little detail, I find her belt to be quite a bit too dominant in the picture. I’d make it a dark yellow instead, that red really stands out.


    Word (20): Wow, that chain mail! And the greaves, and… man, that’s nice.

    I think what you’re looking for can be found close to his head. His hair and especially his neck blends in really bad with the background. And his eyes are extremely blue. Like, unnaturally blue. Now, that might be exaclt what you want, if so then ignore that comment.

    Personally I’m not a fan of a dark nose like that, but sometimes it works better. Try switching the colors around!

  49. Jeff Hebert says:

    Vampyrist (10): Nice! A good, clean design, that works very well. I like the coloring and shading of the feet/lower legs, they really look like they’re behind the thighs as they should. The flames curling over his forearm are great, too, it adds a lot of dimensionality to the image. I’d actually like to see one or two more examples of that, maybe with tiny tongues of flame coming over or between some of the fingers.

    My two areas of concern are a) the horns, which I think are too black to get any sense of detail from, and b) his lack of pants. It wouldn’t be a big deal if he didn’t have that top, making you think (Daffy Duck style) that he ought to have pants on if he has a shirt. And then the hand over the crotchular region makes you feel like he’s covering up his junk. The combination makes you feel a little creeped out, like he’s a Demon Flasher or something. Even a loincloth or something would help, I think.

    Otherwise, very nice job!

  50. Anarchangel says:

    Jeff (38) I actually meant to explain that Hero label. It’s there simply because that’s his name. Hero. (He was named as “The Great Hero” in a prophecy and took it as his name. A tad egotistical of him, I know) I realize how stupid it looks if you don’t know that fact.

    I’m glad you got a “street-level” vibe from him because that’s exactly what I was going for (he’s a parkour expert) so mission accomplished ๐Ÿ™‚

    Changing the belt buckle and background.

    Thanks for the help guys.

  51. Jeff Hebert says:

    MMI (11): I think I’ve seen this one before and liked it, as I do now upon seeing it again. Very tight concept and design that all works well together. Everything fits and looks good, so great job.

    The only suggestion I might have would be to use a slightly different green for the frame. Currently it’s the same as what you see in the character, making them seem on equivalent planes. Darkening the background green up a bit would help it settle to the background better, I think.

    That’s little, though; great image and character.

  52. Jeff Hebert says:

    Tarkabarka (12): I like the general concept of her on a swing with the snake-like brother holding her. That’s nice.

    For me, the main problem is that the colors and the background elements are all fighting with each other. The water doesn’t quite look like water, and then you’ve got the snake/dragon, the rocks on the horizon, the sun, her wings, and arms all bunched in tightly together. The characters don’t have any room to separate themselves out from the clutter. I’d actually prefer, I think, to have just the characters on the swing without the background at all.

  53. Fabien says:

    I’ve remade Peacock following Jeff’s recomandation :

  54. Panner says:

    Malfar (22): Glad to help out! Be sure to check out Worf’s sketch, I like that one a lot.


    ams (25): If you want an urban environment, rooftops is a classic. To make the sky more interesting, you could add a meteor shower, or a comet in the distance.

    If you’re feeling adventurous, you could try building a background from scratch, say a sewer tunnel or something.


    ajw (33): I’d be lying if I said I knew anything about ye olde Batman, so I’ll just comment on the figure in general! I think it looks really neat, it has all the elements one would expect.

    The thing that jumps out is the bright white seam running down his chest. Looks a bit out of place! Also, it’s a bit hard to make out, but the gloves appear a bit too tube-shaped. I could be way wrong, so take that with a grain of salt!


    Anarchangel (36): Yeah, I was thinking about adding the red to his shoulders, but I wasn’t sure, so I refrained from mentioning it. What springs to mind is changing his boots and shoes to red, if you’re bold. I’d say the easy way out is to change his belt and the sword strap.

    And I must disagree about the flag on the belt, I like it! Different strokes for different folks, I guess.

  55. Me, Myself & I says:

    Panner (49) I really did go crazy with the knotwork didn’t I? In fact, the entire reason I requested the knotwork from contest winnings was for this very character. I couldn’t do him properly without the knotwork. Color on belt and necklace hugh? Well worth a try; I’ll try that option. Thank you Panner.

    Jeff (11) I’ll try a different color for the background. Great idea Jeff, thank you.

  56. McKnight57 says:

    Here’s Amanda Gold, or the Golden Blur. She has super speed and reflexes, which make her a master thief and assassin.

  57. Jeff Hebert says:

    Worf (20): Overall, nice job. He definitely looks the part of a warrior in a dungeon crawl. I like the black chainmail with the white links, that looks great.

    Here are my suggestions for improvements.

    First, the pose. His knees look slightly bent, yet both feet are on the same level, so he looks like he’s about to hop. If you can get it to where the knees look more as if they’re locked in place and spread the legs out a bit, I think it would help him look more solid and “ready for action” that doesn’t involve hopping. It’s hard to look menacing mid-hop. The character’s left arm (to our right) needs something to stand in for the forearm. Maybe a patented SeanDavidRoss head-used-as-foreshortened-limb? Just something there to indicate the presence of the limb, as currently it almost looks like his hand’s bolted directly to the elbow.

    Second, and this is minor but important, I’d go with a darker red for the inside of the cloak (the part that’s behind him).

    Finally, from a composition standpoint, I think there’s just too much background. I’d like to see the background masked to a circle behind him or something, so you get the idea of a dungeon without having to see so much of it. Kind of like some of the “portal” designs we’ve seen in the last few months, though not so elaborate. I think that would be a combination design element and supportive environment that would help the whole thing pop, while keeping the focus on the character and not where he’s standing.

    Hope that helps! It’s a good design already, that I think could even be stronger.

  58. Jeff Hebert says:

    ams (25): WOW! Awesome pic! I love it.

    This concludes my critique. You rock.

  59. Jeff Hebert says:

    ajw (33): Neat! Kind of a “Gaslight” edition of the Dark Knight. I don’t know jack about kitbashing but I think he looks cool.

  60. Tarkabarka says:

    Panner (49)- Thanks the critique – You right, the chest area need a little bit more work. – Sometimes i made a too difficult thing and sometimes i think the simple is enough. I usually use the insignias, because i made the body first complete after i dress it.

    Jeff (53) – Thanks Jeff – My biggest problem in my all creations is the background. I Don’t like my backgrounds. I suffer a 2 or 3 hours (or more) a char pose, cloth or something (or more), and make terrible background whose don’t match my concept.

    By the way more practice, practice, practice.

  61. Jeff Hebert says:

    Trekkie (40): I like his face a lot, the subtle patterning you have in there is great. The spacey part of the background and the split-shoulder costume design are also very strong.

    I’m not as sanguine about the platform he’s on. Something about it kind of makes me feel like he’s about to walk the plank, or that he’s standing out in the void. Not sure what to do about that, but there it is.

    The lower half of the character is also very plain. On top you have the nice hair, awesome face, nifty costume element, and strap, and then … not much. Maybe a belt that’s a different color from the costume, or a phaser, or boots, something to help give the lower half a visual interest to match the top half.

    Finally, the feel look a little small. That’s probably the size I made them, but they end up looking a bit wee.

  62. Panner says:

    Trekkie (40): Hehe, awesome aliens, as always! I think you’re right to worry about the facial lines, in my own not-so-humble opinion, they don’t get the job done. The first thing I’d go for as a replacement is the wrinkles from, uh, is it Head-MaleFace? With the right coloring, they are really aggresive.

    I like the simple uniform, but it might be a mistake to let the belt be the dark shade of grey, using the lighter shade might work better.

    Personally I’d give him a bunch of sci-fi gadgets, but accessorizing isn’t for everyone, so go with what you like better!


    Jadebrain (45): Sweet, that is an awesome dwarf! You know, I currently play a dwarf priest that kicks major ass! Anyway, on topic…

    The eyepatch is a little too close to the skin color, in my opinion. A darker color would make it stand out more. Additionally, try moving it down a few pixels, it looks to be a little too high right now.

    That hide shoulderpad and also those boots look a bit plain with bright colors. Have you tried adding a pattern? If the built-in patterns steal too much focus, just add one manually and make it near-transparent. I like the furry pattern, but add it last, because it causes a lot of lag.


    Captain Kicktar (46): This looks like a job for Superman! I mean, paint-over-with-insignias-man! Seriously though, that’s probably the best and easiest solution, even if it isn’t very elegant.

    In other news, have you tried using a very dark red for linecolor on the tattoos? I usually find that tattoos become a bit overbearing with black linecolor.

  63. Jeff Hebert says:

    Jadebrain (45): I really dig the chains, those come off looking great. The costume elements in general work well and the concept is pretty cool. Love the logo on the book and paddle, as well.

    For me the main issue is in the head. There’s just so much hair and beard, it completely dominates the image. I’d play around with some different hair styles, maybe, something that would let the face peek out a bit more and not compete quite so much with the beard.

    Something about the character’s left (our right) arm is off as well. There’s such a wide separation between the arm and the torso, it almost looks as if it’s a separate piece dangling from beneath the shoulder furs.

    Hope that helps … it’s a nice image, really.

  64. Jeff Hebert says:

    Captain Kicktar (46): The way around that is a couple of square insignias, with all three colors set to the same color as the base of the pants, laid over the top of that connecting edge line, then scaled and rotated to fit. It won’t be perfect, but it’ll be darn close.

  65. Jeff Hebert says:

    Rozestal (47): Oh! Wow, I didn’t get that at all, sorry … I think you’re going to have to go with different colors for that to look like a scar. Like a much deeper red for the middle and a darker tone of the skin for the outer edge. If the scars have any age to them at all, they won’t be that red — otherwise it would look like a fresh, gaping wound.

  66. Jeff Hebert says:

    Fabien (54): I think that’s better than it was, yes. Still not “there” yet, but closer.

  67. Melis says:

    I wish I could remember who made the pose I used. It was taken from the forums. The rest I did myself though. I know the lighting is a bit off. But I am particularly proud of the water effect.

  68. Jeff Hebert says:

    McKnight57 (57): Hey, comment 57 by McKnight57! I love it when a plan comes together. By accident.

    I like this one quite a bit. The jacket concept with the different colored sleeves is neat, it gives a heroic vibe while still being grounded in the real world. I’m digging the goggles, too. The pink undershirt works well with the jacket.

    Personally I’d lose one of the two sets of thigh pouches. Having both makes her look a little heavy for a speedster, or like she’s a bee coming back to the hive with a full set of thigh pollen. Does that win for most random comment yet? I think so.

    But, great job, I like it a lot.

  69. Melis says:

    @pesky, maybe a more dynamic pose for the legs would improve the picture. But really, it’s amazing as is.

  70. Jeff Hebert says:

    Tarkabarka (61): In general, I feel like if a background isn’t absolutely essential for the illustration, just leave it out. If you’re trying to give a visual for a character, it’s usually not necessary and just detracts attention.

    For instance, take Imp’s designs. They usually just have the character in front of a circle, and it works great. Try just starting out with that, then working in more complicated environments on an as-needed basis.

    But in general, doing a background is like building a character. You have to have a good balance of lines, colors, and layers that all work together to tell the story. The same sorts of design principles apply.

    When you add a character and a background together, it’s like difficulty squared, because you have to make sure that the same story is being told, while not losing sight of the fact that the main focus should always be squarely on the character. A lot of times people make a background that just dominates the layout and the character is lost completely, which is never good.

  71. Panner says:

    Rozestal (47): Oh yeah, I got it, I just said ‘lightning’ to make sure there are no misunderstandings!


    Fabien (54): Well, they look more like peacock feather ‘eyes’, but they don’t get the nifty masking effect where they wrap around the body.

    Also, I don’t really like the ones on her breasts. They overwrite body lines, which makes puppies sad.

    Keep experimenting though, the concept is very sound, and peacocks are really cool animals.


    MMI (56): Haha, you and your convoluted plans and plots! Anyway, mission accomplished, I guess, since the character really does look great!


    McKnight57 (57): Oh, your name is 57 and it’s post 57! Coincidence or conspiracy?

    Well, I like the character. Goggles, pouches, throwing knife, boots, gun, it’s all great stuff. What I’m missing is a general theme. you say she has super speed and lightning reflexes? Well, I don’t see it. She’s a super thief and assassin? Well, other than the knife, there’s no indication. Do you see where I’m going?

    Sure it’s hard to convey super speed in a pin-up picture, but I guess you could show some extraordinary skill, like balancing that knife on a fingertip, or shoot a hole through a silver dollar.

    Lasty, it says at the bottom she’s part of the ‘Hero Corps’. I’m not so convinced an assassin is a hero!

  72. Jeff Hebert says:

    Melis (68): Ooo, that IS a nice water effect! Very cool.

    I like the character’s face a lot, and the way you’ve worked the water in to the layout. I’m not as big a fan of the mountain background, particularly with the dark gradient from the right edge of the screen. I’d lose that, and make the line color of the mountains a darker shade of the brownish red currently there. Same thing with the sky, instead of a black line color I’d use a shade of pink or purple or whatever is there in the clouds.

    In terms of the pose, the bit that concerns me is her butt. It looks way too big and jaggedy — I keep wondering what is causing that bulge in her dress. Also, her left (on our right) knee would cause the dress to tent up right there, but a fold runs uninterrupted from her right (our left) hip over the knee to curve out mid-shin. Cloth wouldn’t fold that way if it were going over a knee, which is way closer to the viewer than the hip.

    Hope that helps. It’s a nice image overall and I do love the water!

  73. Jeff Hebert says:

    Holy cow, I caught up!

  74. Panner says:

    Tarkabarka (61): I do the body first most of the time. Funnily, I often delete the body in the end because it can’t be seen under all layers of clothes.


    Melis (68): Wow, very nice! I love the flowing water here, as well as your work on the skirt.

    The first thing I noticed is her right (to my left) shoulder. I’d say it needs some kind of reconstruction, but that’s fairly easy.

    What’s more, I’m not sure what to say about her facial expression. Judging by the mouth and eyes, she looks bored or indefferent, but that raised eyebrow suggest something has caught her attention.

    Finally, you might want to do something about the insignia at her feet, it’s painfully obvious.

  75. Panner says:

    I like barbarians, so here’s a barbarian! I experimented with some Pesky-style shading on the arms and legs, with gradients on the rest. The hair on the arms looks pretty bad for obvious reasons. Any comments?

  76. Asder says:

    A not so longtime ago i decided to create characters based on the elements,(the album is in my website) and the first one that i did was my favorite.


  77. McKnight57 says:

    Ok, better look. Bit of stealth in the lack of sleeves, and the gun on the back, plus the Batman-style gauntlets seem to be more of an implication to the assassin thing.

  78. Jeff Hebert says:

    Panner (76): Very cool! I mean, barbaric. He definitely looks like he’d kick your ass. I love the cape/neck area in particular, along with the cloak clasp in the chest. Very nifty.

    I like the Pesky style body shading, though not so much the gradient highlights on the skirt part of the armor and the hammer. The problem with it there is that the highlights are smooth and consistent, but they’re overlying items that are multi-layered. In theory the highlights would be on only the higher parts, and would be casting shadows. This effect comes off making them both look as if they’re encased in plastic. I keep meaning to say that on other examples as well, but usually forget, so now you get to be the whipping boy. Lucky!

    The only bit that flat out doesn’t work for me is the forehead tattoo. At least, I assume it’s a tattoo. It looks like an actual tiny hammer nailed to his head, though if that’s what you’re going for, never mind.

    Great looking barbarian, though!

  79. McKnight57 says:

    Panner (75): Oh, I forgot to mention that the title for the comic is Hero Corps, but she’s actually a villain. Their group is called the Chaos Dominion. She happens to be the nemesis of another character I’ve put up here, the hero Crimson Lightning.

  80. Jeff Hebert says:

    Asder (77): I like the dynamism of the pose, the swirling of the skirts really gives the impression that she’s dancing and whirling. Nice job on that.

    For me, though, there’s just way too much purple and stuff going on around the figure. I end up losing her almost completely, particularly around the hands and her right (our left) arm. Rather than “Darkness” I get more of a “Storm” kind of a feel, with all the crackling and energy lines and dynamism of the pose itself. I think of Darkness as still and somber, but this just bursting with energy.

  81. Jeff Hebert says:

    McKnight57 (78): I wish you could’ve been comment 75, for the reverse-mirror-image effect of the numbers. Oh well, another conspiracy theory shot to hell.

    Nice changes! I love the spikes particularly. I had a character a long time ago who was a speedster named “Slash” with these huge bone blades coming out of his arms. He’d flash by and slice you to ribbons, which is the feeling I get here. That’s cool.

    I kind of miss the jacket, but I get that this is more of a speedy look.

  82. zarae says:

    reading from the Tanak:

  83. Jadebrain says:

    @ Jeff (64)

    Yeah, I added the vast amount of hair and the giant bear to give him sort of a “hobo” look… which is why his chainmail armor is literally just a bunch of chains. He could easily take payment for the services he provides, but, as I said, he chooses to be an ascetic.

    As for the arm? I actually had it adjusted perfectly before I added any clothing, so I guess the problem comes from the fact that, with the positioning of the fur, his left arm begins to show starting at the divide between the two parts of the arm, so there’s nothing to show the angle of the upper arm.

  84. Panner says:

    Asder (77): Uh… Wow. Like, yeah. Wow. That’s quite spectacular.

    The character is pretty much perfect, but I find myself wondering about her thigh guards. The way she’s turned, shouldn’t her right one (my left) be behind the body and the left one more in front?

    And it would be great if you could tone down those huge gradients in the middle of the picture. It didn’t take long for me to want them gone so that I could look at the awesome picture underneath.


    McKnight57 (78): Cool, I like it. I agree with the lack of sleeves, it suggests that she’s very agile and doesn’t want clothing getting caught in stuff and slowing her down.

    And the colors on the jacket match the goggles nicely.

    Also, ‘Hero Corps’ being the comic name makes a lot of sense. It was just a knee jerk reaction, hehe.


    Jeff (79): Yeah, it’s a tattoo alright. It’s kind of small, so it’s hard to make it look natural. I guess I could play around a bit with the colors and see what happens. If that doesn’t work, it gets the axe. Killing your darlings and all.

    And regarding highlighting, screw it, I’m going ams on it and just adding white gradients EVERYWHERE.


    zarae (83): “Scanner not working” – No kidding, those things never work.

    Very nice pose here, I especially noticed the arms, which look extremely convincing. All the cloth wrinkles work very well, and the shading on the cowl is superb.

    What I don’t like is the shape of the cowl. Look at the head shape following the beard, and at the head shape implied by the cloth on the cowl. It doesn’t really add up.

    Another thing that struck me was your choice of colors. for religious attire, I expect two or maybe three colors, while you use five. This especially goes for formal clothing. It’s not a bad thing, just something that entered my mind.

  85. Captain Kicktar says:

    Panner (63): I’ll probably go with Jeff’s solution, and I’ve done various tattooed characters, some with the black outline, which I agree, doesn’t look great, and others with no line color at all. I’ll have to try a dark red color
    Jeff (65): Thanks, I’ll give that a try, I’ve used circle insignias for it in the past, but never thought to use squares.

  86. Vampyrist says:

    Taking in your advice, I created this new Hellstrike.

    as for him wearing clothes, he is a supervillain who can morph into this form and he doesn’t like robbing banks in the nude, so he wears clothes.

  87. Panner says:

    Captain Kicktar (86): Yep, that’ll work out nicely.


    Vampyrist (87): I’d say his new pants fit nicely. And using the torn pieces is a nice touch, it emphasizes the leg structure.

    One thing I didn’t notice before, there’s a white line on his arm. Can you make it go the way of the dodo?

  88. Jeff Hebert says:

    zarae (83): Very nice! Great use of color and perspective. The clothing all works well too. The only bit that isn’t quite as successful as the rest is the head covering — it looks like it gets a bit too large around the back. But that might just be the glare from the paper, it’s a little hard to tell.

    Another really good drawing, keep it up!

  89. Panner says:

    DaRumblyTank (90): Haha, that’s a nice one. Would make for a great toy release, ‘Gotta collect them all’ or something.

    One thing though, the angles on the red one’s lightsabres look off. They should be angled more outwards.

    Oh, and something else, the red one seems to be missing a… thingie… on its belt.

  90. Jeff Hebert says:

    Vampyrist (87): Very nice! I like the flames a lot and you did a great job on the pants, especially with them ripped a bit at the bottom.

  91. Jeff Hebert says:

    Worf (89): Love it! Much better.

    OK, now that I can see it better, I am going to echo what someone else said about the eyes — they seem an unnatural blue to me.

    The gray area below his chin but above the collar is also a bit confusing. It’s so close in tone to the rock, I keep wanting to read it as a gap between the head and the armor, like he has no neck. Or it’s a beard. I think it’s just the shadowed neck, but if so it doesn’t come off that way. It’s probably easiest to just make it black and remove the confusion.

    Other than those two minor things I think he looks great!

  92. Jeff Hebert says:

    DaRumblyTank (90): Ha, love them! They’re so cute!

  93. DaRumblyTank says:

    @Panner (92) I made the one with the lightsabers first and forgot to to update that one to match the others when I put them all together.

  94. Niall Mor says:

    This might be more of a “How do I do this in HM3?” question than a critique of a specific character, but I’m going to ask anyway. Is there a way to position a gun so that the barrel points outward toward the viewer? I had a design in mind for a character that would use the high-tech wheelchair that Jeff drew, augmented with all kinds of armor and heavy weapons, but every time I try to put on a gun, the gun winds up at right angles to the chair or at right angles to the character’s body, which was not what I wanted. Is there a way to fix this?


  95. Jeff Hebert says:

    Niall, you’ll have to construct one yourself, probably using a variety of circular insignia radically resized. I’ve seen someone do it before and it turned out all right.

  96. Jeff Hebert says:

    Myro (99): I thought this was a cute idea that was mostly well executed. The parts that bugged me were the hat on the human (it doesn’t look like it fits) and his shoulders — they’re incredibly wide. But maybe the dummy is super heavy so he’s bulked up over the years of lugging it around, I dunno.

    I also felt like the set detracted from the joke. The curtains are so red and so big, and the space around the figures so large, that the visual humor gets swallowed a bit. This was one where I thought tighter grouping and closer cropping would have helped sell the concept better.

    I did (and do) like it, though.

  97. Kaylin88100 says:

    Here are some I’ve been playing with recently. First, a fairytale series:
    Cinderella (2 pics, really not sure about 2nd one)
    Red Riding Hood, Wolf Mistress (I think this is quite good)
    Sleeping Beauty (any hints on how to do a bed?)

  98. Pandademic says:

    Here’s an old character of mine – Taliel Dawnsword, elven wizard:

  99. Panner says:

    Myro (99): Excellent picture, it elegantly accomplishes everything it wants to do, and looks good while doing it.

    There are a few details I’m wondering about. The hand under the doll’s legs looks awfully small, I would try moving the hand and arm a few pixels to the right until skin starts showing, so that we can see how large the hand really is.

    Also, in the word ‘Gemini’, the two i:s look different. How come?

  100. Niall Mor says:

    @Jeff (98): Thanks for the tip, Jeff. I figured it might be something like that.

  101. Kaylin88100 says:

    Gonna throw in a few more, but the one I really need help with is the Sleeping Beauty:
    Angel vs Demon
    Elven Huntress
    Cancer (gonna enter this in the upcoming zodiac contest)

  102. Kaylin88100 says:

    @Pandademic (102): Nice character but the hands look a bit small to me, maybe you could do something about that?

  103. Myro says:

    Jeff (100): Ah, yes, probably your most common critique of my work, that there’s too much space around the character. I really need to watch that one, huh?
    The left shoulder (our right) is a little big, I see your point there. As for the bowler, it does seem to be a fight between making it look like the right size, and cutting off the hair.
    Thanks, Jeff.

  104. Panner says:

    Pandademic (101): Outstanding! Very beautiful picture with great details! A few things hit me though.

    First, her ears are very high up. Like very, very high. The lower part of the ear usually connects to the head at about the level of the nosetip, and the upper part connects at the level of the eyes. I know, I know, she’s not a human, but ears that high up is not natural, not even for elves.

    Second, if it were me, I’d change the color on her boot straps and scroll case. It looks a bit awkward when they are the same color as her skin.

  105. Myro says:

    Panner (102): I have no idea how that happened with the “i”s. It should be the same font. And I see what you mean about the hand.

  106. Panner says:

    Myro (107): Betcha one of the i:s is lower case and the other is upper.

  107. Jeff Hebert says:

    Kaylin88100 (101): I only do one per person. Please let me know which one you’re looking for a critique on from me. Thanks!

  108. Jeff Hebert says:

    Pandademic (102): Very nice! I love the little designs on the ends of the sleeves and loincloth, those are a wonderful touch. The color palette is simple and restrained, working very well together.

    I’m a little unsure about her eyes. The unrelieved green doesn’t quite fit with the rest of the details in the image. I don’t HATE it, but if you are going to stay with the big huge irises, I think a more subdued green might be better, like a forest green instead of kelley green.

    Also, the forearm pieces don’t quite work with the puffy sleeves. Were there really straps there, the puffiness would be bunched around them instead of being unconstrained.

    Other than those quibbles, an excellent design!

  109. Kwnnos says:

    Little old but I thought of a new concept ๐Ÿ™‚

    and this one

    Let me know your thoughts ๐Ÿ™‚

  110. Jeff Hebert says:

    Only one per person for me, Kwnnos, please let me know which one you want to get my critique on. Thanks!

  111. Kaylin88100 says:

    @Jeff: please critique the 4th one(Sleeping Beauty). Sorry, should have made that clear.

  112. Panner says:

    Kaylin88100 (101):
    Cinderella poor: I like it! The colors are plain and dull, fitting the setting, and it’s obvious what kind of a life she’s leading.

    Cinderella1: Nice and colorful, and I like the patterning on the pink skirt. It’s interesting how you’ve placed the arms and hands with the yellow skirts here. It gives depth, sure, but at the same time it looks a little weird. And speaking of the yellow skirts, I’d try layering them above everything she wears on her upper body.

    Red riding hood: The red cloak is a major problem here. The way it covers the area between the arms and body is bad news. Make it stick out a bit to the left and/or right and it will be much better.

    Sleeping beauty: To make a bed you need insignias. And lots of them. I like the alternative you’ve used, it works well. However, her eyes don’t look relaxed, they look like she’s squinting.

    Angel/demon: Very cool motive, I like a lot!

    Elf hunter: Solid picture, not much to say. You could add the necklace with a tooth to emphasize that she’s a hunter.

    Cancer: Very funny picture, but I’m missing something on her head. Something with antennae!

  113. Pandademic says:

    Kaylin88100 (106): Wow, yeah. I made those way too small for some reason. Thanks for catching that.

    Panner (108): Realistic proportions truly are my greatest nemesis. ๐Ÿ˜€ Thanks, I fixed the ears now. And I see what you mean with the fleshtone stuff. I’ll figure out better colors for those items.

    Jeff (112): Yeah, the eyes do really stand out. I’ll mess around with the shade and see if I can find something that works better. And I’ll work some more on those sleeves. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks for the advice, everyone!

  114. Panner says:

    Kwnnos (113):
    Corto and Lucia: Wow, this drawing is gorgeous. Lots of personality and style in the characters. It’s a bit weird though that the style differs so greatly between the two, Lucia is more realistic while Corto is very cartoonish. Maybe this style-mixing is used by all great artists and I’m just oblivious. It’s just something that jumped out at me.

    Assassin Former Templar: Now, I know I’m not supposed to point these things out, but… sigh, he has a Pac-man on his neck. Anyway, you might want to mask the big red insignia to the chestpiece, to preserve some linework. And speaking of linework, I don’t think his pants have any. I personally dislike making objects pitch black since that makes all the lines disappear and the item turns into a Big Black Blob (which is probably also an old horror movie).

  115. Jeff Hebert says:

    Kaylin88100 (101): OK, Sleeping Beauty it is.

    I like the bed, that’s very clever. Neat idea in general for an illo as well.

    I like her outfit too, but the problem for me is the pose. She doesn’t look asleep so much as stiffly dead. It seems like maybe having one arm/hand over her heart or at her waist or something would make her seem a little more relaxed. And the eyes & eyebrows look like she’s squinting more than just has them closed.

  116. Jeff Hebert says:

    Kytana (117): Very nice! Good scene, well executed, with an appealing main character. The Wanted poster is great. I also like that her horse just busted her out, that’s awesome. I bet our horses wouldn’t even nicker if we were in the slammer unless it was feeding time.

  117. Panner says:

    Kytana (117): Excellent work, I love what you’ve done here! The feet, the bustier, the poster (yes, I saw it, it was very funny), the cardridges, everything is great!

    If I should point anything out, it is that the graveyard in the background looks very squished. I think you can afford it to take up a few more pixels.

    Also, there’s this one brick at the right edge of the picture, right on the horse. It kind of sticks out a bit, you might want to look into having it removed.


    Pandademic (118): Heh, yeah, tell me about it. It’s kind of funny how I really had no idea how my freaking own body was proportioned until I started drawing. I mean, you’d think everyone would know how large their hands are, how long arms are, et cetera. But no.

  118. Kaylin88100 says:

    Thanks Jeff and Panner for your comments, they are very helpful. Jeff, now I look at it, I see what you mean about the pose – she does look a bit stiff. I’ll change it a bit and see how it looks.

  119. Kaylin88100 says:

    Don’t know what to do about the eyes – waiting for some good closed eyes to appear (hint hint Jeff) but I think this new pose is a bit better.

  120. Tigerguy786 says:


    This is Edwin, so named because anything more approrpriate would make him to dang scary for his comrades to handle. His real name is something along the lines of Apollyon…and that would be too scary.

    The main problem I have is the extra arms, I’ve tried him a half dozen times or more and I can never seem to get it satisfactory.

  121. Jeff Hebert says:

    Kaylin88100: I do think that’s better. For the eyes, why not use the ones that are one full color inside (with no pupils or irises), colored to match the darker shade of her skin? That would look like closed lids, no? Maybe not, it’s been a while since I looked at those.

  122. Jeff Hebert says:

    Tigerguy786 (125): I agree, the arms don’t fit quite right. Part of the problem is he’s so big on top and then the arms get smaller as you go down …

    Any suggestions from the gallery on how you’d do a multi-limbed character like this?

  123. Panner says:

    Kaylin88100 (124): I whipped up this one. The eyes are crescent insignias at scale 4%/15%, with rotation -93 and -87.

    (not this one Jeff)

  124. Jeff Hebert says:

    This is another edition of “Do What Panner Said.”

  125. Panner says:

    Tigerguy786 (125): The extra arms are a problem, yes. The easiest solution is to just hide the attachment points with a cloak or something, but that’s not very fun. I have no magic advice.

    As for the rest of the character, I like him! Those eyes are really up to no good, and they are brought out very well by the color scheme. Well, speaking of color, I’d recommend you change the secondary color on the boots to black instead of baby blue.

  126. Tarkabarka says:

    I make a few changing – and delete the background.

    I know only one picture, but want to ask few advice, how to make better my hm custom drum set. – So i want to know what missing or what i make better.

  127. zarae says:

    thanks yall.
    panner (85 i think): the multicolors on the clothing were b/c im not too good at watercolor pencils and i didnt want the colors the same running together or be all the same with that being one of the first with the pencils.
    and the cowl was the harder part, not too great i know.

  128. Jeff Hebert says:

    Getting better, Tarkabarka!

  129. Panner says:

    Tarkabarka (131): Oh man, that drum set is awesome! But – it’s missing a hi-hat!

  130. Jeff Hebert says:

    OK, dog has to go to the vet, so I’ll bring this edition of OCD to a close. Thanks everyone! Whoever wants to stick around and help out with more critiques or to discuss what’s gone on so far is more than welcome, but I need to head on out.

  131. Tarkabarka says:

    Jeff (133)

    Next time I pay attention to the overall picture, not only a little segment.

    Panner (134)
    Thanks i really forget the hi-hat. I do it and modificate the cymbals.

  132. DiCicatriz says:

    Here’s an updated version of a character I poste last week.

    He started out like this:

    But I agreed with Jeff’s ideas about the aqua color and the intensity of the glow. Also somebody had some good points about the face lacking a certain something. I went with a more basic black and a more sinister facial profile. Also I re-used a name from an old HM contest ๐Ÿ™‚

    As the source of his powers comes from his tattoos, I thought it would be cool if they only glowed while he was actively using them. Hence this variant:

    Let me know if it’s an improvement at all.

  133. Myro says:

    DiCicatriz (137): Wow, he looks like someone I wouldn’t want to meet in a dark alley.

    Overall, I’d say better. My one suggestion would be to maybe tone down the color of his tattoos to a dark grey instead if black (maybe Grey 85%). Or if you’re committed to the black tattoos, then lowering the line color on his facial features by a similar amount to make them stand out slightly against the tattoos. But that might just be nitpicking.

    Love the one of him with his tattoos activated as well.

  134. Kwnnos says:

    @Jeff: the first one ๐Ÿ™‚

  135. maniacmick says:

    here’s transparent knight i played around with making colors/layers/and line colors transparent

  136. MegaGoober says:

    Sorry that its another one of Firek, but this time he has a friend. The Desert Bandit Duo, Infeas Firek and Geryn Ameros – kind of the Robin Hood and Little Bear of the wastlelands.

    Now, before you start commenting, I do realize that the right side doesn’t have a background and nothing in the backplane or background has any texture. If I had done either of those, my computer would probably me a smoldering pile of ash. So, please point out anything else out of place or that you think I could work on (god willing with my piece of crap CPU).

  137. Vengeance says:
    just want some input on this pic. I think maybe the background could have been lighter and maybe used brown on the hood and cloak

  138. Captain Kicktar says:

    Vengeance (142): One thing I’ve learned from these critiques is to vary the color shades. darker and lighter, it doesn’t matter, even just a bit of difference helps.

  139. D says:

    @Melis (68): I like the water effect too, but I do have some suggestions about the background. I’d scale the mountains down and move them toward the back, and maybe reduce the alpha so they look like they’re a long way away.
    Moving toward the foreground, perhaps you could have a grassy plain with trees with long shadows to sell the idea that it’s sunset (at least, I assume it’s at sunset).

    Perhaps you could also give her a river bank to sit on by taking the cliff background, stretching it, scaling it up slightly and adding grass and maybe doing the same for the opposite bank, thus creating a riverbed.

  140. D says:

    @ Fabien: Have you thought about putting a blue-green gradient on Peacock’s costume? It might make the pattern stand out more. And perhaps you could use the Chinese fan as an inlay by masking it to the suit, then layering it and adding the feathers. Just a thought.

  141. Tool says:

    Ok wow there are alot of post here today. Well Lets start by addressing the comments to my entry ( 3 ): Panner, I will try changing the neck armor to see if I can mke it flow better. I had made the visor semi visible through to see the eyes. Doornik1142, I was trying to go for a position where he looked like he powering up but yes I can see that LOL. I will try and resize the armor to see if I can fix that too. Jeff, as I said before I was trying to giving a power up look not power poop LOL. He’s suppose to be flying and charging power. Trying to get out of my box a little. I will try and redo the surrounding energy to make it look more emited or focused rather than just stuff floating around. Moving on, Ams I like your entry for 25, Tarkabarka’s 136 entry and DiCicatriz’s 137. All very cool.

  142. Chisoph says:

    @Pandademic (102)
    First thing: male or female? I really can’t tell. And second: the cape and the staff are layered wrong. The staff is strapped on behind the shoulder and the cape, then comes out on the other side. How is this possible?! Witchcraft?! Sorcery?! I demand answers!

  143. Melis says:

    @D If only I could figure the shadows out. But you are right, that would make a big difference.

  144. Chisoph says:

    @Jadebrain (45)
    Cam you please give me the size of the body that you used to make that dwarf? (e.g., 72% 67%

  145. Dybukknik says:

    this is Diamat
    i want to have it glowing on some parts, but i am not know how to do this
    also ideas for colour variance, maybe much appreciated
    also how to fix hat cut off

  146. Asder says:

    @Jeff and Panner

    Thnks for the suggestions, iยดll try to improve it for the next time